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unusual in all aspects - the iconic Gnoounusual in all aspects - the iconic Gnoo

 

The original GNOO

South Africas Black Wildebeest is the iconic Gnu - a name given to this plains dweller by the famous Capt. William Cornwallis Harris on his "safari" into the interior.

Of this striking animal he writes: "A more whimsical compound than the Gnoo could scarcely have been thrown together, or a monster imagined of more fanatistical and anomalous exterior."

magnificent Malutis in the Free Statemagnificent Malutis in the Free StateHunting in South Africa's Free State Province

The Free State was once the bastion of Afrikaaner nationalism, a land of vast grass-filled plains perfect for agriculture and stock farming. Eventually, as the soil leeched and the grass faded farmers realised it was time to return the land to its original inhabitants.

The plains are now teeming with springbok, blesbok, Black Wildebeest, hartebeest, zebra, eland, gemsbok and more. The ranches are usually very large compared to bushveld areas, and despite the open vegetation, provide challenging hunting.

The plains are the home of the Black Wildebeest, springbok and blesbok. Caracal, Small Spotted Cat and jackal are also common. Most ranches have a wide variety of species available and it is not uncommon to be able to shoot 2 or 3 trophies a day. The plains do however call for long range shots so a magnum of some kind is essential.

The major towns are Bloemfontein, Welkom and Bethlehem. The Free State is about half a days drive from Johannesburg and most hunters will use this as their starting point.